The Top College Scholarship Essay Mistakes That Winners Never Make
Write a winning college scholarship essay by learning what winning students have done to impress the judges!
College is increasingly so expensive that parents and their students are desperate to find ways to help pay for it. I helped my son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and want to help you too. How did I do it? Read my story here.
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~ Monica Matthews
This post is a continuation of my S.M.A.R.T. method of applying for college scholarships. Read the first two posts here:
The third segment using the S-M-A-R-T method is all about the “A”.
The college scholarship essay is the heart of the application, so students need to make sure they:
A = Answer the Essay Question
This may seem like a no-brainer, but scholarship judges swear that many students tend to ramble in their essay answers, leaving the original question partially unanswered. Also, some essay questions contain more than one query or part and students may think they have fully answered the question, but have not.
A great trick for checking essay answer completeness is for students to ask an educated and trusted adult to read their answer, not knowing the question, and see if they can guess what it is. If the reader is unsure or wrong, the student can work on rewriting or clarifying their answer. If the reader knows exactly what the question was, the student knows they have answered the question and can then ask about compelling content and move on to proofreading.
Students can and should use this list to ensure they have done their very best to write a great college scholarship essay and win more money for school:
- Have I completely answered the question(s) asked?
- Does my essay begin with content that draws in the reader, a hook?
- Do I write from the heart, sharing true, detailed, and relevant information?
- Have I identified the theme of the essay and addressed it in my answer?
- Did I research the background of the organization and become familiar with their mission?
- Have I had at least 2 pairs of trusted eyes read and critique my essay?
- Has my essay been proofread for grammar, punctuation, and typos?
- Does my essay follow word-count or other format guidelines outlined in the scholarship requirements?
- When others are reading my essay, do my words evoke positive reactions such as laughter, smiling, and/or spontaneous comments? (“Wow!”)
Stay tuned for next week’s tip as I continue the S-M-A-R-T scholarship applying method and learn about how important it is to thoroughly review all scholarship guidelines before submitting each application.
Be sure to read: How to Write an Amazing College Scholarship Essay